102 Interesting Facts About California

Last updated on June 15th, 2020

5 Facts about the Golden Gate Bridge

1) The Golden Gate Bridge is named for the Golden Gate Strait, the narrow entrance between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The strait was named by explorer and U.S. Army Captain John C. Frémont. John C. Fremont gazed at the narrow strait that separates the Bay for the Pacific Ocean, and said “it is a golden gate to trade with the Orient.”[43]

2) The 1.7 mile-long Golden Gate Bridge connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California. At the time of its completion in 1937, it was the longest main suspension bridge span in the world. Today, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan has the distinction of having the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world.[44,45]

The Golden Gate, California.
Interesting facts about California: the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in California. (Photo: Markus Wisnæs-Ådland via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

3) On the day of its opening on May 27, 1937, as many as 200,000 people crossed the bridge. The users had to pay 50 cents each way as toll. However, today, the bridge collects toll when only heading southbound into the city of San Francisco.[45]

4) Today, the bridge carries an estimated 40 million vehicles a year. During the FY 2019, the bridge collected $151,688,500 in toll revenue.[46]

5) Unfortunately, eleven men lost their lives during the construction of the bridge. However, as a safety net (cost – $130,000) was placed below the bridge during its construction, 19 men were saved. These men became known as members of the “Half-Way-to-Hell Club.”[47]